At a ‘Special Event’ in San Francisco, Apple has announced a number of new and improved products. This bevy of beauties included the inevitable announcement of a brand new iPhone (a pair of them no less) and the surprise arrival of a new iPad Pro featuring Smart Keyboard and stylus – or Apple Pencil. Amongst these exciting product reveals also comes a gaming focused version of Apple TV.
With the new Apple TV very little has changed in the overall appearance of the box itself. However, packaged alongside the box is a re-designed remote control that can be used for gaming the same way that the iPhone can be used as a controller, and it also supports multiplayer gaming. The remote itself still cannot control your TV unless you have HDMI CEC enabled, but, fortunately most new TV’s have this option in their menus.
The new Apple TV can be controlled via a revamped version of Siri; Apple’s digital assistant. You can ask Siri to universal search out and play films and tv programmes via voice command which is great but I wonder how the TV’s volume will affect her answers.
The universal search works across iTunes, HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Hulu Plus support for additional services coming. Apple will also be including their music streaming service ‘Apple Music’
The TV itself is powered by their new OS: TVOS. This OS is based on the iPhone and iPad system iOS. Significantly, tvOS allows developers to create apps for the Apple TV that should open up huge opportunities for gaming.
“This is the future of television, coming now” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said. “We need a new foundation for TV, one that’s built on powerful hardware.”
The device itself will cost $149 for a 32GB model and $199 for the 64GB version. It is not available in the UK to purchase at the moment.
So, to summarize, Apple are now finally competitive in the set top box market and are ready to enter the arena and go up against the latest offerings from the likes of Roku, Amazon and others.
Unfortunately, until there is more available live we will not see the full potential of the new Apple TV, although the processing/graphics power together with the App store suggest a good future, we shall have to wait and see.
Also See: iPad Pro Announced – It’s Business Time